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  • UK & Ireland PRME Regional Chapter

Highlighting our 2022 Developing Pedagogy Competition Winners - ‘Teach, Play, Learn, Repeat’

Edited by Katie Lee (UKI PRME Intern)


We were delighted to announce the launch of our 2023 PRME UK and Ireland Chapter Seed Funding Competition for Developing Innovative Pedagogic Approaches and Teaching Practices in PRME in October.


Our Developing Pedagogy competition has run since 2020 and was initiated in recognition of the financial barriers that often exist preventing individuals and groups from putting their innovative teaching ideas into practice. The closing date for applications this year’s competition is the 15th December 2023.


Drs Sean Tanner, Conor Drummond, Helen McGrath, Michael Murphy, Dave Alton, and Tadgh Nagle were our 2022 winners in the special Impactful Five (i5) Category with their ‘Teach, Play, Learn, Repeat’ project. We spoke to Dr Sean Tanner, project lead, on how the competition funding aided in implementing playful pedagogy at Cork University Business School.

Students at Cork University Business School engaging with ‘Teach, Play, Learn Repeat’


How did ‘Teach, Play, Learn, Repeat’ use an innovative pedagogical approach to impact the learning experience?


‘Teach, Play, Learn, Repeat’ sought to adopt a more playful approach to teaching on our MSc Marketing programme in Cork University Business School, University College Cork, through a series of play-based activities and teaching interventions. The key driver of the project was to create engaged learning spaces where students could actively engage with marketing challenges in a lively and collaborative manner. The project adopted an iterative approach to play with a series of activities employing both simulative (mimicry) and competitive play elements.


The project encompassed four interventions employing elements of simulative and competitive play. Simulative approaches to play involved working closely with PR and media professionals to allow students to role-play responses to hypothetical business crises. We additionally incorporated dramaturgy working with local actors to build students’ active listening skills and understanding around group dynamics, both relevant to the workplace. Play also involves rules, and using the board game Monopoly as a platform, students worked on redesigning the game to identify areas of inequity in international markets and propose potential solutions to address such issues. Students also completed a market-based ‘treasure hunt’ through the eyes of personas representing various consumer demographics with a view towards understanding of the challenges a diverse range of consumers in the community may face.


How did ‘Teach, Play, Learn, Repeat’ align with the PRME i5 principles (Active Engagement, Iteration, Social Interaction, Meaningful Learning and Joy and Well-being)?


During the project, the PRME i5 playbook was a fantastic resource. It helped to structure not just the teaching interventions but also our thinking around how play could be used to support our teaching. In particular, it provided a very useful lexicon to reflect on our work and how the project could be further developed to make learning Meaningful, Joyful, Social, Active and Iterative.


For instance, given the novel nature of the approach, we divided the project into several events whereby we sought feedback and refined on an iterative basis. As educators, the experience afforded us a greater sense of students’ experiences, views and challenges, forcing us to also reflect on our own teaching practice. Given the participative nature of play, the activities really supported the development of class bonds and team-work. Feedback from our dramaturgy based, active listening role plays saw some very powerful reflections on the impact of dignifying others’ perspectives and worldviews.


How has your team utilized the funding received from the Innovative Pedagogy competition to further advance and enhance your project?


The funding provided through the initiative was hugely beneficial as it offered the teaching team the opportunity to explore alternative approaches and demonstrate a use case for future cohorts. In particular, the funding was crucial in allowing us to gain interdisciplinary perspectives and understanding of approaches. I would highly recommend anyone with an idea or teaching challenge they are trying to realise and resource to engage with the PRME pedagogy seed funding and PRME i5 Playbook. The project pushed both the students and us as educators to consider how we might learn differently.


Can you share any notable student or participant feedback related to your innovative pedagogic approach, highlighting the positive impact it has had on the learning experience?


The project has had a fantastic impact on class dynamics with students highlighting how they came to appreciate and learn from others’ experiences and perspectives. In particular, the playful spaces created were noted as giving the students a safe environment to make mistakes and gain learning from the experiences. Almost consistently, students noted moving outside of their comfort zone and learning more about themselves and other students and considering new ways of thinking and working: “I went into this with a negative view, but that quickly changed”. For the research team, the most positive feedback from the whole activity has been that students are asking for more of these type of activities throughout the semester. Much like the students, the project has also offered us an opportunity to learn and repeat and going forward we are looking to further embed this teaching approach into our practice to create more engaged learning spaces.


We extend our thanks to Dr Sean Tanner for speaking to us on the ‘Teach, Play, Learn, Repeat’ project and hope this blog serves as inspiration for future entries. To find out more about the 2023 competition entry requirements, please click here. To find out about other winning entries from last year, please click here.


To find out more about the i5 project and download the i5 playbook, click here.


Stay tuned for more content on the UKI PRME 10th Anniversary Blog as we delve deeper into the themes of reflection, refreshing, and re-envisioning in our Anniversary year. Sign up to our Newsletter and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date with the chapter.


The PRME Chapter UK and Ireland is one of 16 Regional Chapters of the global United Nations PRME movement (established 2007). All Chapters are joined in a collective mission to transform management education and develop the responsible decision-makers of tomorrow to advance sustainable development. Globally, PRME has over 800 Higher Education Institutions as signatories.


Established in 2013, the UKI Chapter currently has 62 institutional members and is led by a ten person Steering Committee elected by the membership. The Chapter seeks to nurture a mutually supportive community of committed responsible management educators and researchers. Members benefit from a Chapter-wide event programme, an annual conference and doctoral colloquium, a growing set of Local Networks each with its own event schedule, and three annual, Chapter wide competitions focused on Innovative Pedagogies, Responsible Management Research and Student Writing. Full details of Chapter activities can be found here.


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